FINAL: Saint John 4, Bathurst 7
BATHURST – The Acadie-Bathurst Titan scored seven unanswered goals en route to a 7-4 comeback win over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Sunday afternoon at the KC Irving Regional Centre.
The Sea Dogs scored four goals in the first 12 minutes of the game but could not contain the league’s worst offensive team in the final two periods. Bathurst scored five times in the second period and added two more in the third for the win.
Saint John certainly didn’t have a team loaded with defensive experience and depth for this game. Rookie Antoine Landry got the start in net and veteran David Weckworth was out hurt along with Olivier LeBlanc and Jeremy Doucet. Jurij Repe was thrown out of the game in the first, leaving Saint John’s backend loaded with rookies and inexperience.
The loss basically ends any hopes of the Sea Dogs moving up in the Telus Maritimes Division standings. They still have a shot at making the playoffs as they are two points back of the Shawinigan Cataractes with three games to play. The two teams that miss the playoffs have a shot at the first overall pick in the QMJHL Entry Draft and that, obviously, wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Scott Oke and Guillaume Brisebois each had two goals in this game while singles came from Alexandros Soumakis, Alexandre Gosselin, and Nicholas Blanchard. Jacob Brennan allowed three goals on six shots before getting yanked. Miguel Sullivan made 28 saves in relief and also picked up an assist.
Saint John had a pair of goals from Olivier Cooper and singles from Matthew Highmore and Samuel Dove-McFalls. Antoine Landry allowed five goals on 26 shots and was replaced by Sebastien Auger to start the third. Auger made five saves in relief.
Just 46 seconds into the game, Spencer Smallman fed Olivier Cooper at the side of the net. Cooper chipped the puck over Jacob Brennan to give the Dogs an early 1-0 lead.
The Dogs went to the power play at 3:48 following a Nicolas Dumulong hit on Cooper. At 5:14, Cooper scored again to make it 2-0 Saint John. Bathurst took a timeout after that goal.
The Titan went to the power play at 7:40 but had no good chances.
Saint John made it 3-0 at 10:22 as Highmore jammed the puck in on a scramble. That would be the end of Brennan’s day as he was replaced by Miguel Sullivan.
The Dogs put Sullivan to the test quickly. At 11:59, Samuel Dove-McFalls was in the corner and tried to the centre the puck. But it went off a Titan defenseman and in to make it 4-0 Saint John.
Not long after Dove-McFalls’ goal, it looked as though the Dogs may have scored again. The puck was in the net along with Sullivan and half the Titan team but after a review was ruled no goal.
Cooper had a good chance to complete his hat trick later on as he sped down the wing and cut in front but couldn’t get it to go.
Jurij Repe and Gabriel Gosselin dropped the gloves for a short tilt at 17:01. Repe also got a holding penalty and an aggressor game misconduct, sending the Titan’s power play back to work but, once again, couldn’t produce.
The Titan outshot the Sea Dogs 10-8 in the period.
At 4:29, Alexandros Soumakis fired a shot from along the boards and was tipped by Nicholas Blanchard and past Landry to make it 4-1. That gave the Titan some life.
At 4:40, Mackenzie Brown and Mark Trickett dropped the gloves. Brown was given the instigator stuff so the Titan went to the power play. At 5:00, Scott Oke scored to make it 4-2.
31 seconds later, Raphael Lafontaine found a wide open Oke at the side of the net who made it 4-3.
The Sea Dogs had some pressure applied after the third Titan goal. Marcus Cuomo fired a backhand shot on net but was stopped. A few minutes later, Highmore beat Sullivan but the puck slid off the post and stayed out.
The Titan went to another power play at 15:06. At 16:59 on the man advantage, Alexandre Gosselin beat Landry to tie things up at 4-4 and complete the comeback.
The Titan were not done there. At 17:47, Guillaume Brisebois scored to make it 5-4.
Shots in the second were 16-9 in favour of the Titan.
Bathurst kept things rolling in the third. On a power play that carried over into the period, Matthew Boudreau was behind the goal line and sent the puck out to Brisebois who beat Sebastien Auger to make it a 6-4 game just 52 seconds in.
The Sea Dogs then had three straight power plays – including a brief five-on-three – but could not produce on any of them.
With Auger pulled in the final minute, Soumakis hit the empty net to make it a 7-4 final.
Shots in the third were 18-7 in favour of Saint John thanks to all the power play time.
The Sea Dogs went 1-for-5 on the power play while Bathurst went 3-for-8.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Cape Breton to face the Screaming Eagles on Wednesday night.